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Shakira to undergo trial in tax evasion case in Spain

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Tuesday, September 27, Spanish authorities gave prosecutors the green light to take further legal action against superstar musician Shakira. She will now go to trial in a $13.9 million tax evasion case.

A date for the proceedings has not yet been set. If found guilty, the international music icon could face a large fine and up to eight years in prison.

Shakira is facing charges for not paying taxes from 2012-2014. In July, she rejected an offer to settle the case out of court. The singer and her PR firm insist no wrongdoing has taken place and that she has not only paid the taxes she owes but an additional $3 million in interest.

The case is centered around Shakira’s residence during the two-year timeframe. The singer claims she spent most of these years at her primary residence in the Bahamas. Prosecutors seek to prove she spent the time mostly in Spain.

The residency debate stems from Shakira’s long-term relationship with FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique. Their relationship was confirmed in March of 2011, but the couple announced their separation in June 2022. Shakira owns a stunning home in the city of Barcelona, where his ex-partner plays his soccer. The tax fraud case is based on prosecutors claiming she resided mostly in this residence from 2012-2014.

Shakira’s defense stated she made no malicious efforts to hide her income and cited that if there had been any misunderstandings, they would be “a difference in criteria” rather than intentional criminal activity.

A Spanish court dismissed Shakira’s appeal in the case in May upon the ruling that there was enough proof to proceed. The court upheld a ruling from July 2021 when a Spanish judge decided there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” based on the findings of a three-year-long investigation.

Shakira was first accused of evading taxes in January 2018. The following month, she paid almost $25 million in owed taxes to the Spanish government.

A representative for the Colombian artist stated in July that Shakira is “confident in her innocence.” The party elaborated on the singer “faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.”

The rep also pointed out that the Spanish Tax Office “loses one out of every two lawsuits.” Not a very good track record, especially if a defendant has, in fact, been following the advice of a powerhouse financial firm.

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